Greece: Europe’s Energy Portal
Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Bulgarian counterpart, Kiril Petkov co-signed a special symbolic plaque for the commencement of the realisation of the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in Alexandroupolis.
The new terminal, which is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2023, is expected to bolster Greece’s energy security and enhance its regional strategic role, with Greece emerging as a leading gas supplier for the region.
The Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) project is a modern, cutting-edge technology project which comprises an offshore floating unit for the reception, storage and re-gasification of LNG and a system of a subsea and an onshore gas transmission pipeline through which the natural gas is shipped into the Greek National Natural Gas System (NNGS) and onwards to the final consumers.
Glitch Amid Strong RES Demands
The renewable energy sector (RES) in Greece continues its growth course. The amendments in Greece’s RES regulatory regime aim at increasing the RES participation into the energy mix, which is key to achieve an integrated energy system and propel the country’s energy transition.
Pursuant to Greece’s National Energy and Climate Plan, the mission is to increase the RES share from 20% to approximately 61% between 2020 and 2030. Nevertheless, the delayed development of the grid compared to the penetration of RES is one of the biggest obstacles to the implementation of new investments in energy sector.
Independent Power Transmission Operator has received a lot of applications, which are now holding up the process for the issue of connection terms and therefore generating considerable delays in project implementation.
Enhanced Surveillance Ends August
The end of the Enhanced Surveillance regime for Greece until August 20 2022 is proposed by the European Commission in its report on the 14th post-memorandum assessment of the economy, confirming that Greece has completed or achieved significant progress in the commitments made after the end of the third memorandum.
In general, the Commission emphasizes: “The successful implementation of most of the policy commitments and the effective implementation of reforms have improved the resilience of the Greek economy and strengthened its financial stability.”
Strategic Investments Approved
The Greek government has approved two strategic projects: Microsoft Hellas’ “Investment in Data Centers in Greece” and Terna Energy’s “Hybrid Project of (Amarion) River’s Dam”. Worthy a total of over €1.2 billion, these projects will generate 410 job opportunities.
The Microsoft project involves the creation of a complex of data centers and technological business support. Three data centers, in different locations, Spata and Koropi, in the Attica Region will be built, with a cost estimate of more than €976 million.
Whereas Terna Energy is to establish a hydro pumped storage facility in Crete, with an investment budget of €280 million, Europe’s largest hybrid clean energy project so far.
Business Development Incentives
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras tabled the draft law “Incentives for Business Development, Through Partnerships and Corporate Transformations,” which is a reform of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Greece 2.0), in Parliament.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the aim of the bill is to create a modern and stable institutional framework that promotes and gives substantial incentives to business transformations and collaborations, which, in turn, will become more extroverted and increase competitiveness and their productivity, boosting jobs.
Midterm Rentals Take Off
Recent data shows the acceleration of mid-term rentals – a traditional lease with a length of stays between 1 and 12 months all around Europe. The constantly increasing demand for telework as a result of the pandemic has reinforced the strength of longer period accommodations.
Mid-term leasing is evolving into the most dynamic trend in the Athens and Thessaloniki property market.
eXp Realty Enters Greece
Greece is becoming one of seven European countries where eXp Realty, one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in the world has brokerage operations, including the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
“Greece is a vibrant market with strong economic projections driven by tourism and excellent foreign investment opportunities. We see tremendous business potential for agents and buyers in Greece who can benefit from the eXp model”, noted Michael Valdes, President of eXp Global.
Airbnb Market Terrific Rebound
Bookings for short-term rental accommodation in Greece this summer is increasing at the fastest rate in Europe. So far, there is an annual increase of 232% compared to bookings made in the same period last year.
This conclusion is based on data collected by the short-term rental research company AirDNA regarding the reservations made until March 1 for short-term rentals during the period from the beginning of June until the end of September this year.
Among the areas with the largest increase in monthly income, is the center of Athens near Acropolis. This means that high quality properties could generate an income around €4,000/month
Nevertheless, the biggest increases are observed in the area of Kypseli. This year’s average price per night now exceeds €75, from just €46 last year and €37 in 2019, an increase of 63% and 102% respectively.
TOURISM & TRAVEL
Air Travel Mask Mandate Abandoned
Passengers traveling by plane in Europe as of May 15th are no longer be required to wear a mask on their flight or at an airport, according to guidance issued by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
However, individual airlines can still choose to recommend or require mask-wearing on board the EASA said, with rules likely to continue to vary by airline that date.
Greece Ranks Second In Blue Flag Beaches
The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature has announced that, out of a long list of 53 countries, Greece ranked second this year in the Blue Flag programme awards, as 581 beaches, 15 marinas and 6 tour boats have earned the world’s most recognised eco-label. Greece received 14% of world awards, and the country’s top name on the list is Halkidiki Regional Unit (96 flags).
The Blue Flag label is an international symbol of quality and is one of the best-known environmental labels worldwide.
Catch Robert De Niro In Greece
Robert De Niro is in Greece, as the “Tin Soldier” a major motion picture featuring the Hollywood star will be shot in the northern Greek region of Drama.
Academy Award winners Jamie Foxx and Robert De Niro will star opposite Scott Eastwood and John Leguizamo. De Niro was seen acting out some of his scenes in the city centre, with authorities blocking streets and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
The new Hollywood movie cements Greece as an international filming destination for cinema and television. Hollywood film “The Expendables 4” was also filmed in Thessaloniki in November.